The woman from Dillibazaar

​She measured the earth in multiples of the distance between her home and the farthest city she has ever been to,Dharan.  She asked me if where I came from was farther than her reference town. She looked at my face as if she could see the dirty ponds and the dusty streets of my home town, I looked back at her trying to find traces of Kathmandu, the city that has spawned her whole ancestry, but all I could find was a small intersection,one among many of intersections of Kathmandu, at most I could see parts of Dillibazaar .

When she smiled to bid me goodbye, her smile didn’t look like Dillibazaar, it looked like Dharan.

I wonder if, when I look into the mirror, I will ever be able to recognize the city I carry in my smile.

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When the day dies

There is a building in Lalitpur. If you find yourself on the ground towards the south of the building you’ll, of course, see it’s south elevation. On the south elevation, if you ignore the ten small circular holes on the far right and the far left – you’re left, with sixty big windows. Each window, the border of which is painted white, has three major panels, each panel has its own smaller upper panel that is fixed . The bigger central panel is fixed too, the two panels on either side swing outside. The building is a huge five storey structure; nothing remarkable about it really. At 7:00 PM one man makes his way up the stairs from the right side of the building. He walks up to the top floor. He starts from the top right room. In every room, he first pulls in the window panes and latches them, he then walks back to the door and switches the lights off before he locks the door from outside and moves on to the next one. When in the next room, he repeats this act. After he is done with the top floor, he walks down the stairs and goes through each of the rooms in the lower floor, then moves on to the next floor. Eventually, he reaches the very last room. All the lights in this building have been switched off one by one, in the end only one window glows. But, before he checks the windows and switches off the light of this last room, he rests. He leans on the window and smokes a cigarette. After he finishes his cigarette, he dumps the butt in the bin and dutifully latches the windows, switches the lights off and locks the door from the outside. I did not check the time, so I can’t say with certainty, but it mustn’t have taken him more than sixty years to get to the bottom left room from the top right room.

Cauliflower Carpet

The city I live in rains on and pours, through my walls, windows and doors. But sometimes, I find myself in silence that stretches on like a rubber band; I think of sounds.

I remember the times when my ears were overflown, by the cries this city makes, the dangling dishes from the neighbor’s kitchen, the random Street seller dragging his two-wheeled spoke held bicycle shop,  selling random shit, everything sells on the streets from carpets to cauliflowers.

Sitting on my two color helical bamboo tool, that I bought from a similar bicycle shop,  I try to listen to the cauliflower and the carpet talk to each other, I wish I could comprehend their language.  What would the cauliflower say? What would the cauliflower have to share about its life to a carpet, what would the carpet understand? What about the cauliflower’s unruly hands that spreads out like disease would the carpet relate to? Wouldn’t the carpet only nod back – just to be nice.

And what would the carpet have to say to a cauliflower. What about its endless two-dimensional spread would the cauliflower relate to? Would the Cauliflower be awed by the stories of the sheep’s that were trimmed for the carpet to be born. Would the cauliflower be curious about the tale- What would he ask back , Did the sheep like their new hairstyle?  What happened to the them? Where do they live? How many carpets have they given birth to?

What would the cauliflower understand? Wouldn’t cauliflower only nod back, just to be nice. The city I live in rains on and pours, through my walls, windows and doors, but sometimes, when I find myself in silence that stretches on like a rubber band, I think of sounds.

My ears are overflown. The metal gates of neighborhood, they open and close as if they were eyes, the creaks that usually follow opening and closing of doors are replaced by dog barks that follow in religious conformity. These metal flaps are not just eye lids ,but also holes, like worm holes suspended in space with giggly edges,  they lead both inside and outside, it really only depends on which side you want to call inside.

When I find myself in silence that stretches on like a rubber band, I can hear my heart beat. It beats like metal gates like eyes, it imitates  the street seller’s timed calls,
it beats like the clanks in an old gas igniter in the neighbor’s kitchen, tikk ! tikk ! tikk ! Desperately trying to put something on fire with a little spark.  My heart beats like the way a spoon falls on marble floor, and sometimes my heart sounds like carpet is telling stories to a cauliflower.

Four days

Day 1

A daughter picks a puppy from the street,

brings it home.

the younger brother jumps with joy,

the mother walk out to the porch.

It’s a Bitch

So what ?

It will bleed.

No it won’t.

It will.

Alright, it will.

So what ?

It isn’t a proper dog.

We will need chains the mother says.

And a kennel,

Especially during her days.

Father comes home,

“It’s a bitch” he says.

They chain the bitch.

Day 2

The bitch is gone,

The daughter cries.

Her brother cries.

Day 3

The house is quiet

The children are sad.

The mother is sad

because her children are sad.

The father goes to sleep.

Day 4

Father picks a puppy from the store,

Brings it home.

The younger brother jumps with joy,

The mother walk out to the porch.

It’s not a bitch.

Ain’t one of your easy days- Ghazal

I hate existing in dreadful lazy days

I discover sanity on crazy days

Today if you test and fail me in my path

I’ll insist on clarity, on hazy days

When I see ashtrays some bottles and glasses

I can tell this is one of my daisy days

On sober nights I feel like a renegade

These nights lead me to one of my Jay-Z days

I wonder at nine, where do I go from here

Life just feels like a long string of maze-y days

Heavy weight bags that I unpacked yesterday

Today I Fail to achieve any cozy days

Your words your hands and your smile, they lie to me

A dry cheek of pretend; no true rosy days

My pen and paper they kneel and pray today

Eklavya, this ain’t one of your easy days.

Runoff

You could trickle North
You could trickle South
You could Trickle drop
trickle drip drop
Into a cave mouth
You could trickle in,
Stones sand and bed
Or you could just run off
and Keep trickling instead

And I travel different,
But no, I don’t travel cool
Even my path, like that of a river
is spotted with stagnant pools
And in the end all of us,
we travel into the sea
Nothing becomes of you
Nothing becomes of me.
Like a runoff running free
We Trickle into the sea.

A chowk high on life or is it commerce?

During Tihar if you walk by a chowk,
You will find you eyes splashed with gold-
the plastic and dirt ,the trash by the road,
will be adorned by petals
that could not hold onto
the flowers in the garland.

If you walk by a chowk during tihar,
you will not find vehicle fume or smoke
gentle marigold
smell will lift you from the ground,
you will surf through a garden
that stands still at the busiest of roads.

O unsuspecting costumer,
Do you see the fairy lights,
that specifically shine for you
don’t they look like little fairy eyes,
that look at you,
like goldfish eyes at a pet shop ?
If you walk by a chowk during tihar,
you will find the fairy lure of commerce.

Little lumps of colors, will fill your view,
Lumps of colors will occupy the pavement too
Orange, pink, green, red, white, yellow and blue
if you want, you can get some glitter mixed in too

During Tihar if you walk by a chowk,
you can see fake flowers trying to out do the real ones,
you can see projection lights trying to compete with diyos
you can see packed candies doing their best
to fit in with packets of dry fruits and spices.

If you see someone wash their porch,
you can be sure they will wash the roads too,
If you look at the windows on the houses that line the chowk,
you are bound to find dull cleaning cloths fluttering against the window pane
as if they were moths trying to escape after the night light has passed.

If you walk by a chowk during Tihar,
Not only will you find terracotta being sold,
you will find people selling red mud too,
and you might even want to buy it,
do not stop yourself,
for there is immense joy in painting your heart
with Red-mud and leaving it out to dry
in the warm September sun.